TK and Rachel win The Amazing Race 12

In the end, The Amazing Race 12 came down to the final Roadblock task. And ultimately, while there was tension as the teams tried to complete it and then raced to their final series of clues, the presence of three likable teams in the final leg meant that any outcome would have been satisfactory, and that the final leg would be pretty much without significant drama.

  • “This is so unfair!” Jen cried in a flashback at the beginning of the episode. I agree: Why do I have to listen to her again even though she’s been eliminated?
  • Sentences that did not end in references to pot, but would have been funnier if they did: “I really think every team as its way to be successful, and for us, it’s definitely…,” TK said. “It’s been proven time and time again how important it is for TK and I to…,” Rachel said.
  • When the teams read “Ship Creek Boat Launch” on their clue, it sounded like they all said “Shit Creek Boat Launch.” And the creek definitely looked like a place that should be called Shit Creek.
  • Has Phil always been a corny wordsmith, or is he just being a lot more cheesy these days? “Teams without fast hands could find themselves in a pinch,” he said of a crab-related challenge.
  • “Just get out of my way; I am not very good with knives,” Ron told Christina as he filleted a fish. Seconds later she shrieked, but she did not get stabbed; instead, she found the clue among the fish’s guts.
  • Nick and Don screwed up, forgetting to pick up a bag of gear when they picked up their clue, and they had one of their first real fights. “Your hindsight is always 20/20,” Nick said. “You read the clue but you didn’t understand it, so we’re [fucked?],” his grandfather said.
  • “We’ve come a long way since leg one,” Christina said. Perhaps, but now you owe us all $150/hour for having to listen to you describe your relationship problems all season.
  • Speaking of tension, TK became animated for the first time all season and started berating a cab driver. “Can we go there fast?” TK asked, aggressively. “My god, are you kidding me? We need another taxi, or we need to get there.”
  • Twenty-three minutes into the episode, the interviews with Ron and Christina showed them both with beaming, bright smiles, and since those are obviously taped at the end of each leg, their win seemed eminent. But no! They were just happy losers.
  • “I’d be there for a fucking year,” Don said of the final Roadblock, expressing what I was thinking exactly. It was one of those reality show challenges I find impossible even while watching from my couch, and I’m not stressing out, trying to win $1 million. One member of each team had to select one object from each leg of the race and place it on a platform, but using certain criteria. Thus, I can’t make fun of Christina, Rachel, or Nicolas for their missteps, and that they all finished was impressive enough.
  • Whoever writes the clues really needs to get over their unnecessary capitalization habit and exclamation point fetish. The final clue read, “This is it!!! Take a taxi to Girdwood Airport and run to the Finish Line. Hurry!!!! GO, GO, GO!!!!!” I’m sure the teams wouldn’t have run fast if it hadn’t been for those exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • “We won’t be disappointed if we come in second. I learned a lot, you know, how to become a better person,” Ron said. Well, congrats on that, because second place it was.
  • Alaska’s a beautiful place, but the best locatin the producers could find for the finish line was a dirt airport covered with weeds? Seriously?
  • TK and Rachel landed on the mat first, and TK said, “None of this even seems real. It’s kinda freaking me out.” Oh, TK, you make this too easy. Anyway, their win is terrific, as a win by a low-key, non-confrontational team is long overdue.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.